Athletic Training

| July 12, 2021

We are habitual by nature

It is said it takes 21 days to form a habit, and 90 to form a lifestyle; this is extremely true.

By Steven Fitzpatrick

Read time: 3 min.

It is said it takes 21 days to form a habit, and 90 to form a lifestyle; this is extremely true. When you are trying to establish a new pattern that you are trying to stick with long term, it is always best to start small, and always see it as stepping stones to progression. In order to get the ball spinning, you never dive in head first.

With exercise, if you are new to a gym setting or fitness as a whole, you can start with smaller goals such as a step goal per day, this should be between 7000 and 10,000 and this will help to increase your NEAT (non exercise activity thermogenesis) that way your metabolism will stay consistent while you are away from training and will keep your progress in terms of eliminating excess stored calories, or body fat ongoing.

We will always repeat our habits, and when trying to form new ones, I find it very effective to use my white board. I have it placed on the wall straight in front of my room and it is the very first thing I see every day. That way, when I am focusing on big picture things such as my athletes, training and other things, the small things can be stored on the wall rather than in my head until they are formed into a lifestyle naturally, then I do not have to think about them too much. This is a good way personally, to keep stress in check.

In a gym setting, having a thorough program is important, as I have said before. The reason for this is because if we just show up to the gym without any sort of plan, we will end up doing what feels comfortable, or what is not sore. We allow our bodies to subconsciously make the decision for us, by doing this we eliminate an adaptive curve. The last time I checked, no athlete ever got better by doing what is comfortable.

Here is a good initial habit checklist that should be in everyone's day to day routine in regards to fitness:

  • Drink 3-6 litres of water per day (body weight is relevant)
  • Set a protein goal that you must hit EVERY day, no exceptions
  • 7000 to 10,000 steps (everyone can do this, there are apps for any phone that can track this, and there are a variety of fair priced watches that will provide more accuracy)
  • Try to get 6 to 8 hours of sleep, of course this will be dependent on the individual and their work.
  • Social interactions are very important for mental health; maintain social connections on a day to day basis, acknowledge other humans, it will make you live longer. It can be as little as saying hi in passing, visiting your grandmother or grandfather, or just getting in touch with your family.

Eliminating bad habits can go just the same as forming new ones, they take time, but with enough dedication and willpower, anything can be done. For example, when trying to change a bad habit such as frequently eating fast food or processed choices, if you are pretty far down the rabbit hole, it's a good idea to set days per week and a weekly allowance towards gradually cutting back. Generally if you just dive head first into “quitting” something you will end up getting some form of withdrawal from it, this can definitely be a true fact mentally towards food. Which is why it’s so important to have a good balanced relationship with food and understanding just how effective of a tool moderation really is.

With all of that said, when you set a habit, do your absolute best to stick with it for 21 days, it may be a tough go, but struggle is nature's way of improving and without it you can not ever hope to grow mentally and physically without that strong tie to perseverance.

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